As it’s the end of the year, I’ve been thinking, as you do, idly over a glass of wine while sitting in the house where I grew up, of how to best help solve the world’s trickiest problems.
And while I’m not able to solve all of them, I think I have pretty good ideas to sort out at least two…
Idea #1 – Reducing the Annoyance of Orange Marches (and all other long parades, etc.)
Sadly, I can’t help with the noise, associated nastiness or religious issues, but there’s one bloody annoying part of Orange marches – and to be fair, also all other marches; I’m only singling them out cos there seem to be much more frequent than any other – that I can help with.
Picture the scene: you’re in town, you’re going for a train, you go to cross say St Vincent Street and OH BLOODY HELL A MARCH. Going to have to stand there for ages while they all file past; no chance of nipping across or managing to get your train. You can’t even jump on a bus, cos traffic has been brought to gridlock by the mass of people moving past without a break.
[Yes, that train, the train you were going for and had left just *exactly* the right amount of time to get to, assuming there would be no marches or ticket barriers (*) in your way.]
But! With one simple, tiny change, no longer is this a problem.
It’s an idea that, I’m pleased to say, is sheer elegance in its simplicity:
Marches use the roads. So logically, marches, and their participants, should all have to obey the rules of the road.
*Including stopping at traffic lights when they turn red*
There – take a moment to think about that. It is genius. It is simple, and it would work.
Any folk taking part in a march simply have to stop or go when the lights tell them to – like any other bit of traffic would! This would allow folk to cross at pedestrian crossings – and even more helpfully – other traffic on the cross-roads – not to get all blocked up as well.
Folk who want to march or protest about things can, and folk who just want to catch their bloody train on time can as well. Everyone is happy 🙂
So, who’s with me for the letter writing campaign to our Politician Overlords to make this happen ?
Idea #2 – Reducing the Ridiculous Amount of Money and Hassle it costs to Have a Wedding These Days
Now, this is an idea I’ve discussed earlier iterations with various people over the years, but they’ve all failed to find it as appealing as I do. But I’ve recently figured out a tweak that should make all the difference…
The background is that weddings are unreasonably expensive – whether or not you’re having one, or being invited to one, the costs add up. If you’re invited as a guest, you feel guilty if you don’t spend money on a fancy present, and its often tricky to find something you think your friends would like, rather than just something for the sake of it.
From the participants perspective, as folk are increasingly likely to have lived together and set up house prior to getting married, the old sensible idea of using a wedding list to get the stuff you need for a house is less useful.
How many more toasters or pots do you really need?
So, currently, the wedding is very expensive, and you end up with lots of stuff that isn’t necessarily that useful, bought for you by folk that couldn’t think of a better way to show they care about you.
Solution: people who want to come to the wedding – or who you’d like to come – don’t buy you presents at all – but they do buy shares in the day. They can buy as many shares as they like – and shares start out very cheap, so the people keenest to come along – your immediate family & friends that actually like you and answer the invitation quickly pay very little indeed.
The closer to the day of the wedding, the more expensive the share price gets.
So if more people want to come at the last minute (some vague relative’s friends daughter your parents are insistent should come along because), the event does get more expensive, but there’s also more money in the pot to pay for it.
(Also, these would be non-voting shares, so while people will have a sense of ownership and participation in the day, they don’t get any actually say in how it’s run; The wedding itself is then effectively the AGM – no admittance except to shareholders.).
So, people would be helping to get together and contribute to giving you something nice – the happy day that you want with the people you actually care about most likely to be there – and don’t feel guilty for not contributing, and you don’t end up bankrupted amidst a sea of cruet sets.
Everybody wins (and gets a nice share certificate to frame and put on their wall).
Plus, if there’s any cash left over, you could spend it on the honeymoon or on buying a new gadget 🙂
(*) Don’t get me started…